News — 11 October 2017

By Dryden Observer Staff

The Government of Canada announced that an agreement has been reached aimed at resolving ligation surrounding the Sixties Scoop.

The Sixties Scoop refers to period in Canada’s history wherein an estimated 20,000 young Indigenous children were taken from their families and fostered or adopted out to primarily white families in Canada or in Western Europe.

A news release Oct. 6, said the Government of Canada and counsel for the plaintiffs have been engaged in negotiations to resolve the litigation in a ‘fair, compassionate, and respectful manner that promotes reconciliation and healing.’

A new foundation, for healing, wellness, language, culture and commemoration, will be funded with at least $50 million dollars.

Law firm Koskie Minsky LLP says the settlement will also provide compensation from a minimum of $500 million to a maximum of $750 million to qualified claimants who were removed from their homes in Canada from 1951 to 1991 and placed in the care of non-Indigenous foster or adoptive parents.

“The Sixties Scoop was a dark, painful chapter in Canada’s history,” said Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs. “The survivors have identified the loss of language and culture, and therefore their identity, as the greatest harm. The creation of a foundation will directly address the need for survivors to claim a secure personal cultural identity.”

Ontario Regional Chief Isadore Day remarked on the annoucement with thanks and congratulations to Chief Marcia Brown Martel, who was the lead plaintiff on behalf Sixties Scoop survivors.

“This $800 million settlement is an acknowledgement that the 60s scoop survivors were “wronged by the Canadian child welfare system – with far too many of our First Nation children continue suffering in this very system today,” said Day. “Hopefully, this funding will allow for the individual, family, and community healing that is yet to come for so many survivors.”

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Chris Marchand is a native of Dryden, Ontario. He served his first newspaper internship at The Dryden Observer in 1998 while attending journalism studies at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops B.C. He's worked desks as both reporter and editor at the Fernie Free Press as well as filled the role of sports editor at the Cranbrook Daily Townsman. Marchand was named editor of the Dryden Observer in Aug. 2009.

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